Friday, January 8, 2016

Creating Classroom Games: Bingo

You can customize simple content games for the classroom to help students review and reinforce knowledge. It just takes a little creativity. Follow the steps to create your own content bingo.

Establish a list of terms (people, places, things) students need to know.
For this effort, my list includes: Samuel Gompers, Jane Addams, Theodore Roosevelt, Sitting Bull, NAACP, Jacob Riis, Upton Sinclair, Ida Tarbell, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller.

Establish a list of descriptors for your terms. You should include at least two descriptors for each term. The descriptors can apply to more than one term.
Example- “Muckraker” describes Upton Sinclair, Jacob Riis, and Ida Tarbell.
The descriptor for my set are below.

American Federation of Labor, Ghost Dance , The Jungle, Conservation, Reservations, US Steel, Hull House, Wounded Knee, Captain of Industry, National Parks, How the Other Half Lives, Vertical Integration, Progressive, Civil Rights, Standard Oil, Meat Packing, Homestead Strike, Horizontal Integration, Robber Baron, Meat Inspection Act, The History of Standard Oil

 Ensure that students have organized what they have learned about the terms. Students could use a simple chart to organize what they have studied.
People and Groups of the Gilded Age
Samuel Gompers

Jane Addams

Theodore Roosevelt

Sitting Bull


Jacob Riis

Upton Sinclair

Ida Tarbell

Andrew Carnegie

John D. Rockefeller

Students will use the list of terms to customize their bingo boards.  I used the simple board below. Students started by writing a name of a person or group from the set above.

    Once students have customized their boards. You only have to explain the rules and begin game play.

   We played using the rules below in class.
·         The goal of the game was to get three correctly complete three boxes in a row.
·         You can make a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row.
·         A square is complete when the term is matched with two correct descriptors.
·         The term and descriptors must match in both historical accuracy and historical interpretation.
·         Once a row is completed the player yells “bingo.”
·         The squares must be verified before a winner can be declared.

To select descriptors during game play, I used the spinner from that can be customized with a simple typed list. The spinner was projected on the board and the chosen word simply popped up.

This was a simple way to add a game to my class. It got students talking about the topic and provided a form of review they were attentive to as they played to win.

How do you add games to your class?